Grass Valley: Steering Media Workflows Smartly

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Tim Ordaz, CIO
Founded by Dr. Donald Hare in 1959, Grass Valley has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The company is a premier provider of television production and broadcasting technology to some of the biggest and most creative names in the media and entertainment industry. Grass Valley’s end-to-end ecosystem of reliable, open standardsbased solutions enables content creators, broadcasters, and media organizations to produce compelling content. The comprehensive suite of solutions helps clients bring viewers closer to the action, engages them with the story, and connects them with each other. “We help customers transition to IP and cloud-based infrastructures to enable flexible, scalable and smart workflows,” explains Tim Ordaz, CIO, Grass Valley. Before being appointed as a CIO, Ordaz successfully led the Services Sales and Marketing teams in the U.S, EMEA and APAC region. Prior to Grass Valley he spent a number of years working in broadcast technology and operations at DirecTV, a local TV station, Alamar Automation, and Pinnacle Systems. His immense contributions during his tenure as sales and marketing lead for Services and Support at Grass Valley has helped the company improve customer engagement globally and enabled clients to enhance operational efficiency and identify issues before they became disruptions to workflows.

Today, Grass Valley is on a journey of transforming into a cloud-based software-centric company that helps clients meet the dynamic demands of the broadcasting media landscape. Grass Valley is not only enhancing its product portfolio but also how it conducts business along with the skillsets of its associates to ensure that operations are running efficiently.

One of the biggest pain points that clients across the media landscape are facing is the disruption of the financial model caused by the dramatic shifts in distribution and viewer behaviors. Video programming, which was traditionally distributed through linear channels, is being rapidly replaced by non-linear distribution through over-the-top (OTT) platforms. This change has also resulted in more complexity in the digital distribution process, along with the need for more flexibility to respond quickly to changing needs. Grass Valley addresses these issues with its innovative solution called GV Media Universe, a comprehensive ecosystem of cloud-based tools and services that enables clients to create content flexibly, deliberately, and efficiently on multiple platforms.
At the core of the GV Media Universe is the GV Agile Media Processing Platform (AMPP), which is a cloud-based SaaS platform designed to overcome the broadcaster’s long-time reliance on costly and inflexible hardware-based media systems. Specific workflow functions run on the GV AMPP platform as modules, which are constructed from a wide range of microservices. AMPP enables clients to adapt to changes in viewer behavior quickly, achieve a higher level of resource utilization, and get a return on investment quickly. “We provide a fully integrated solution for clients so they are not burdened by expensive broadcast infrastructure,” adds Ordaz.

To further illustrate how clients are using Grass Valley’s innovative solutions to unlock new broadcast workflows, Ordaz mentions the case of Blizzard Entertainment, an industryleading video game developer that was one of the early adopters of GV AMPP. Blizzard has been leveraging AMPP to keep its Overwatch League and Call of Duty League matches live since March 28, 2020, enabling truly distributed remote production with all operators and talent working from home. Consequently, the client was able to remain flexible with remote broadcast setup even in the face of the global pandemic. And with the ability to eliminate the need for a conventional equipment room, GV AMPP facilitates multiple distribution streams with separate graphics and languages for each audience region to be produced from one web-based interface entirely in the cloud. GV AMPP is delivering a seamless way to unlock flexible production workflows where cost and features scale up and down as needed and rapidly adapt content and delivery models to changing customer habits.

Grass Valley continues to invest a substantial amount of its R&D efforts toward further developing GV AMPP. Alongside, Grass Valley is also a leading supplier of cameras, live production switchers, replay and highlight products, media storage, routing, and conversion equipment, among others. The company aims to continue enhancing its existing product portfolio. Grass Valley brings about innovation so that clients in the media sector can increasingly adopt distributed remote production and, as a result, become more efficient, flexible, and save costs, especially at a Tim Ordaz time when remote working is becoming the norm.

Company
Grass Valley

Headquarters
Montreal, Canada

Management
Tim Ordaz, CIO

Description
Grass Valley’s end-to-end ecosystem of reliable, open standards-based solutions enables content creators, broadcasters, and media organizations to produce compelling content. The comprehensive suite of solutions helps clients bring viewers closer to the action, engages them with the story, and connects them with each other. The company is currently on a journey of transforming into a cloud-based software-centric company that helps clients meet the dynamic demands of the broadcasting media landscape. Grass Valley is not only enhancing its product portfolio but also how it conducts business along with the skillsets of its associates to ensure that operations are running efficiently